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Agave Heritage Week

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Craft, Travel | 3 comments

Can you name all the U.S. cities that have the UNESCO “City of Gastronomy” designation?

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There’s actually only one: Tucson, Arizona.

It received the designation, in part, because of its agricultural tradition that goes back thousands of years.

Mission Garden, Tucson

One of the early plants cultivated in the region for food, medicine, and fiber was agave, the spiked succulent best known today for tequila.

agave

The annual Agave Heritage Festival in Tucson celebrates both ancient and contemporary uses of the plant and its importance to the region.

We got to participate in the first weekend of this year’s festival, which runs through May 7th.

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We took a tour of ancient agave farming and roasting sites on Tumamoc Hill, learned about cooking with agave (both in traditional fire pits and with modern appliances), tasted different agave-based beverages, including tequila and bacanora, and saw how agave fiber can be twisted into rope and crafted into all kinds of things.

Agave products

We’ll be celebrating here all this week with daily posts about Tucson and agave, so come back and visit!


PS We were guests of Hotel Congress, one of the presenters of the festival.




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Nests

Posted by on Apr 17, 2017 in Travel | 10 comments

BTA nest

I love it when I’m walking and spot a nest in a tree.

catalina-nest

It feels like a small discovery, like finding an Easter egg (no pun intended) or a secret door.

Yuma

From the time I was a little kid, my dad taught me how to look for signs of what’s going on in the natural world, pointing out the high waterline above a dry riverbed, animal tracks in the dirt, cottonwood trees where there’s water, and all kinds of habitats – burrows and holes and nests.

Arboretum nest

At the Arboretum recently, we saw a man was pointing out a nest in a tree for his grandson.

“You guys should check this one out, too.” I showed them a large nest right in the middle of a cholla cactus that would’ve been hidden from their viewpoint.

I can’t think of a safer place for a home – or a trickier place to build it.

Cholla nest BTA

 




 

 

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March 2017 Photo: Geraniums

Posted by on Apr 10, 2017 in Craft | 8 comments

It’s been a really colorful spring with lots of wildflowers and a few new additions to our patio garden.

So, for March, I chose this photo of a couple geraniums Phillip rescued from some plant department clearance bin. We also have blooms on our nasturtiums and our dwarf pomegranate tree. The hummingbirds are loving it all, and so am I.

Geraniums

 

Runners up:

I considered posting a photo either from Southwest Maker Fest or coffee painting at CraftHack, like these two mini masterpieces by Niecy.

Coffee painting

Also, we spotted this bus the other day that said “Let’s be better humans.” I don’t know what the story is behind it, but it’s a good message!
Bus

 




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Banh Mi

Posted by on Apr 3, 2017 in Craft, Travel | 6 comments

When we moved, we found ourselves near a place with great banh mi, which are Vietnamese sandwiches on French bread with these marinated vegetables and thinly sliced meats. It’s a beautiful blending of cultures.

Banh mi vietnamese sandwich

My brother Ian says the many banh mi places in Seattle all seem to charge exactly $3.98 for a sandwich. As with many things, they’re even cheaper here in Phoenix. It’s a lotta deliciousness for your buck.

Have you tried banh mi? Do you have a favorite spot near you?




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